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First Name: Edward

Last Name: Schowalter

Birthplace: New Orleans, LA, USA

Gender: Male

Branch: Army (1784 - present)

Home of Record: Lexington, VA
Middle Name: Rightor

Date of Birth: 24 December 1927

Date of Death: 21 November 2003

Rank: Colonel

Years Served: 1951 - 1977
Edward Rightor Schowalter, Jr.

•  Korean War (1950 - 1953)
•  Vietnam War (1960 - 1973)


Edward Rightor Schowalter, Jr.
Colonel, U.S. Army
Medal of Honor Recipient
Korean War

Edward Rightor Schowalter, Jr. was born on 24 December 1927, in New Orleans, LA, to Edward R. Schowalter, Sr., and Ruth "Johnson" Schowalter. After graduating from Metairie High School in nearby Metairie, he attended the Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, VA, and upon his graduation in 1951 was commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He was later promoted to First Lieutenant and served in Korea with Company A, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division.

On 14 October 1952, near Kumhwa and what is today the border between North and South Korea, Schowalter's company was selected to spearhead an attack on a fortified Chinese position known as Jane Russell Hill. As he led Company A toward the hill, they came under intense small-arms, grenade, and mortar fire. Schowalter received two grazing wounds to his hand and ankle before being shot in the helmet by a sniper. The bullet lodged under the skin in his right ear and knocked him unconscious. When he awoke, he refused medical attention and resumed leading his soldiers forward. When he was wounded in the right side by a grenade, he again turned away medical aid and continued to command Company A until the hill was taken.

For his heroic actions, Schowalter was awarded the Medal of Honor.

Medal of Honor

Rank and organization: First Lieutenant, U.S. Army, Company A, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Infantry Division

Place and date: Near Kumhwa, Korea, 14 October 1952


1st Lt. Schowalter, commanding, Company A, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry and indomitable courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy. Committed to attack and occupy a key-approach to the primary objective, the 1st Platoon of his company came under heavy vicious small-arms, grenade, and mortar fire within 50 yards of the enemy-held strongpoint, halting the advance and inflicting several casualties. The 2d Platoon moved up in support at this juncture, and although wounded, 1st Lt. Schowalter continued to spearhead the assault. Nearing the objective he was severely wounded by a grenade fragment but, refusing medical aid, he led his men into the trenches and began routing the enemy from the bunkers with grenades. Suddenly from a burst of fire from a hidden cove off the trench he was again wounded. Although suffering from his wounds, he refused to relinquish command and continued issuing orders and encouraging his men until the commanding ground was secured and then he was evacuated. 1st Lt. Schowalter's unflinching courage, extraordinary heroism, and inspirational leadership reflect the highest credit upon himself and are in keeping with the highest traditions of the military service.

The medal was formally presented to him roughly four months later by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, during a ceremony at the White House.

Other Medals and Awards

In addition to the Medal of Honor, Schowalter was awarded the following:

Silver Star Medal
Purple Heart (2)


In his home of Jefferson Parish, LA, a military parade was held in his honor and parish officials gifted him a new car, and the mayor of New Orleans, Chep Morrison, gave him the Key to the City.

Post War

Schowalter married after the Korean War and he and his wife, Bonney, had five children. Two of his sons also served in the military. After his retirement, the family settled in Auburn, AL.

Schowalter reached the rank of Colonel and served two tours of duty in the Vietnam War before retiring in 1977.

Death and Burial

Colonel Edward Rightor Schowalter, Jr. died at age 75 on 21 November 2003. He is buried at the Fort Benning Post Cemetery in Fort Benning, GA.

Honoree ID: 1232   Created by: MHOH




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